Degenerative Myelopathy


In the spring of 2006 Dual AFC Distagon, AKA "Tiger", MH was diagnosed with Degenerative Myelopathy. This diagnosis was made by Dr. Sam Long at the Hospital of the University Pennsylvania Vet School in Philadelphia. A MRI was completed which further confirmed this disease. Dr. Long seemed surprised because the Hospital of the University Pennsylvania Vet School has not seen DM in CBR's in years.

In the fall/winter hunting season Tiger and I had an excellent season. We hunted upland and water fowl ever day, but there were signs he was having problems. Tiger did not like to jump into the dog truck, fell when he jumped at the gate to get out of his pen. In training he would no longer sit on a whistle.

After hunting season was over Tiger was sent back to his co-owner and breeder Linda Patterson to be bred. Tiger at this time had problems mounting. The breedings were successful. Buy the end of April 2005 Linda was concerned that Tiger may have DM. I did not even know what DM was. I went to Chicago, brought him back to New Jersey and to see Dr. Long. He confirmed the disease.

I really thought this was bad luck. Tiger has a German Shepard disease, a rare Chesapeake Bay Retriever disease and was a death sentence. How could an intelligent, athletic animal get such a horrific disease? Tiger slept on my bed, protected the house and went hunting almost every day. What a bad roll of the dice.


About this time I found that other dogs related to Tiger had the same disease. [Great research site for relatives  --] This was truly a shock to me. Maybe not a bad roll of the dice at all, but a genetic problem. JJ's Jessie, JJ's Chi-Town Blizzard, JJ's Harley, JJ's Renegade Red, Caroways Cricket, LJ's Stonefield Foxy Lady, Misty Morn's Cinamon Cinder, also Cathy Dusekís Anni who is the same breeding as Dual CH AFC Westwind's Rudy of Nordais are in someway related to Tiger. Unfortunately Tigerís full sister seems to be showing signs of DM. These are facts.


Did you ever think why your Doctor asks you if there any health problem in your family tree. We are all animals.


It is very important to me, since DM may not be a rare disease in CBRs, to find out where this problem comes from, how our dogs get DM and bring this problem to the for front of health problems of CBRs. Most CBR people did not know or think this was a problem, but it may be the end of an excellent Field Trial line!


Video clips of Tigerís DM to follow.

Tiger 12-11-06 This is not an easy clip to watch. Last year this time we were hunting every day.

Tiger June 2006 This clip is part of a DVD that showed the progression of Tiger's DM. If you watch closely you can see weakness in his left hind leg. Also you can see him dragging his toe on his left hind foot.

Tori May 2007  Tori is a full sister of Tiger. Along with another sister, Muddy, are showing first signs of DM. I hope to post a clip of Muddy in the near future. 



01-27-07: Tiger can no longer stand on his own and my wife has him in a doggie walker. This time, last year, we did not see signs of DM. Tiger sleeps in the kitchen on an old quilt and has lost control of his bowel movements. He is comfortable and alert. In September of 2005 he finished his bench title.